“Selfishness is the chief sin, thinking of ourselves first.”

In a piece dated September 1937 (“Albert Einstein, The Human Side: Glimpses from His Archives”), Albert Einstein writes: “Our time is distinguished by wonderful achievements in the fields of scientific understanding and the technical application of those insights. Who would not be cheered by this? But let us not forget that knowledge and skills alone cannot lead humanity to a happy and dignified life. Humanity has every reason to place the proclaimers of high moral standards and values above the discoverers of objective truth. What humanity owes to personalities like Buddha, Moses, and Jesus ranks for me higher than all the achievements of the enquiring and constructive mind.”

And what is it about the great sages that Einstein values above all else? He mentions this in a letter about twenty years earlier, dated 6th December 1917, as World War was raging: “More and more I come to value charity and love of one’s fellow being above everything else. . . .”

In the same letter, he laments, “How is it at all possible that this culture-loving era could be so monstrously amoral?….All our lauded technological progress — our very civilizatiobs — is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal.”

Swami Vivekananda, in a Talk delivered at the Temple in Rameswaram (“The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda” — Volume 3″) gives us a lesson that sums up all morality and philosophy. If each of us lives by it in our daily lives, perhaps there may emerge a way out of this mess we have created. “Selfishness is the chief sin, thinking of ourselves first. He who thinks, “I will eat first, I will have more money than others, and I will possess everything”, he who thinks, “I will get to heaven before others I will get Mukti before others” is the selfish man. The unselfish man says, “I will be last, I do not care to go to heaven, I will even go to hell if by doing so I can help my brothers.”….He who has more of this unselfishness is more spiritual and nearer to Shiva. Whether he is learned or ignorant, he is nearer to Shiva than anybody else….And if a man is selfish, even though he has visited all the temples, seen all the places of pilgrimage, and painted himself like a leopard, he is still further off from Shiva.”

Peace 😊

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s